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A large, very old reading room that is round in shape. The room is four stories high, and along the walls are balconies and shelves of old books. There are dark timber chairs and desks arranged around the room, and old green lamps sitting on the desks. Around the top of the room are six circular windows, the ceiling is not in view. There are no people in the room.
A view of the front of the Library from the street, with people walking up the steps to the front door of the Library. It's a sunny day.
A portrait gallery displayed in a round room, which is painted a deep red colour. The portraits are of many different people from diverse backgrounds, some are historical and others are contemporary. Some are paintings and some are photographs, all are hung on the walls. There is a person looking at one of the portraits.
A grand old room with rows of tall white columns and a patterned glass ceiling. The room is long like a hall, there are tables lined down the centre of the room and book shelves to the sides. There are no people in the room.
A lady in a striped top is leaning over a cabinet to look at a rare book which is displayed in a cabinet. In the background is a wall with intricately patterned wallpaper, framed articles and a sign about the exhibition display.
A large, very old reading room that is round in shape. The room is four stories high, and along the walls are balconies and shelves of old books. There are dark timber chairs and desks arranged around the room, and old green lamps sitting on the desks. Around the top of the room are six circular windows, the ceiling is not in view. There are no people in the room.

State Library Victoria

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Joseph Reed 1856, Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen  2020

Description

Established in 1854 and spanning an entire city block, State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest public library and one of the first free public libraries in the world. Housing a combination of contemporary and historic spaces, the Library is brought together by 23 architecturally-designed buildings.

The Library is known for its collection, which began at 3,846 volumes and, over the past 168 years, has amounted to more than five million items, including books, manuscripts, serials, photographs, artworks, maps, ephemera and more.

The Library is constantly evolving, with an ambitious collection digitisation program, as well as events and exhibitions that reach new audiences every day.

What's On

Explore Australia's oldest public library and the third busiest library in the world. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD and spanning an entire city block, State Library Victoria houses a combination of contemporary and historical spaces, from the original reading room in the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall to a children’s castle in the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter.   

Journey through the library’s bright and modern spaces from the Vision 2020 redevelopment, visit the iconic heritage reading rooms dating back to 1856, wander through exhibitions, and uncover the hidden gems within the collections and spaces.

Enjoy an opportunity to read up on Melbourne’s heritage buildings with two dedicated book displays in the La Trobe Reading Room and Redmond Barry Reading Room, specially curated for Open House Melbourne weekend. From Ned Kelly’s armour to a LEGO model of the Library, or from rare books to portrait galleries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Images: (1-2) La Trobe Reading Room, State Library Victoria. Photos: Patrick Rodriguez. (3) North Rounda portrait gallery. Photo: James Arneman. (4) Ian Potter Queen's Hall. Photo: Patrick Rodriquez. (5) World Of The Book exhibition. Photo: Teagan Glenane. (6) La Trobe Reading Room, State Library Victoria. Photo: Patrick Rodriguez

Important Details

Time & Date

Saturday 27 + Sunday 28 July
Open access 10am-6pm

ACCESSIBILITY

Fully wheelchair accessible

Location

328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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